A day in the life

The glassy buildings being built across the Don from Riverdale Farm reflect the setting sun.
A view of the Don Valley from Riverdale Farm

7:30 a. m.: I haul myself out of bed (after having stayed up late the night before doing work and giving myself a haircut), get dressed, feed the cat, throw things into my backpack, and head out to City Hall.

9:00 a. m.: Breakfast is tea and a muffin at the Café on the Square. And meds. I also remember to phone the co-op office for the time of tonight’s Board meeting (my first!).

10:00 a. m.: I sit with a bunch of other political junkies and live-tweet the Budget Committee meeting, while getting actual web work done during slow bits. Just as they get to the exciting bit (the operating budget), the committee breaks for lunch and it’s time for me to run.

1:00 p. m.: Buy tickets for trip to Detroit next weekend — it’s a meetup for Allied Media Conference track coordinators. Should’ve bought them earlier. Ouch.

1:30 p. m.: On my way to Riverdale Farm, make a pit stop at Allan Gardens to ogle cacti.

2:30 p. m.: Meet up with X. and S. at Riverdale Farm, do the tour, take lots of photos of farm animals. The sheep are particularly vocal.

5:00 p. m.: We head back west to check out Toronto’s newest attraction, the Loblaws that just opened in Maple Leaf Gardens. Sure, it’s just a grocery store, but it’s a really nice grocery store. G. arrives just as I have to run off again.

7:00 p. m.: Back to Parkdale for co-op board meeting. I was nervous because I’m relatively new to the co-op, but it helps because I know most of the other directors. All women!

9:00 p. m.: Arrive back home to an affection-craving cat. Almost too exhausted to eat and do dishes. Spend the rest of the evening catching up on the day’s news, procrastinating on the Internet, doing a bit of work, and fine-tuning the AMC track description.

2:00 a. m.: Finish work, email, etc. Finish blog post. Take a well-deserved bath and go to bed, trying not to dwell on all the things I have to do tomorrow…

Sunday in Toronto

Last week I met up with G. and D., two friends I hadn’t seen in a while. We went out for dim sum, which was excellent, though we had to wait a while to get a table. Highlights included curried cuttlefish (G. and I are fans of Life and took the opportunity to explain cuttlefish mating habits to D.) and chicken buns—BBQ pork buns will always be my favourite, but the sharp green onion-spiked filling contrasts very nicely with the sweet steamed pastry. From there we wandered to a nearby Chinese bakery and then into Kensington Market to pore over potted herbs and spices and fruit.

G. suggested a trip to Riverdale Farm, which none of us had visited yet; it’s a long walk from Kensington, but it was fine weather. We meandered down College—G. works in the area, but D. lives in the suburbs and only comes to campus for classes, and living in the West End I don’t often visit those parts of town, so a walk through the downtown core (crowded, happy and unhurried as it can only be on a really beautiful Sunday afternoon in Toronto) is a rare treat.

We stopped at Allan Gardens to coo at the dogs in the park and wander through the greenhouse. The park’s lovely right now: tulips and daffodils still out, the maples adorned with spring-green spangles. Inside it’s an idyllic seasonless garden. (Took lots of boring up-close photos of flowers and such. My favourite room was the one with the cacti, though.)

From there it wasn’t that far from the farm, which is tucked away at the end of a sleepy residential street east of Parliament. It’s not really a farm, it’s more like the zoo in High Park but with farm animals; there’s barns you can wander through, with fowl and rabbits and baby animals, and outdoor enclosures with horses and goats and a donkey and such. There’s also little trails through the woods by the Don and lookouts over the trees and the wetland, where we sat for a while in the sun eating egg tarts and sesame balls and singing cheesy 80’s and 90’s songs, till the farm was closing (5 p. m.) and we walked back and went our separate ways.

I took the subway down to Queen Street and took the 501 west. There was a man sitting a few rows behind me in the very back of the streetcar, playing a peaceful melody on acoustic guitar. So I took out my earbuds for once and let the music and the city’s background noise soundtrack my way home.